Happiness machines

As the brilliant “Century of the Self” video claims, government and business invested considerable efforts in the 20th century (thanks to the likes of self-appointed “father of public relations”, Edward Bernays) turning the public into consumers – or self-perpetual happiness machines.

It is not surprising that we are programmed to be consumers (rather than citizens) as part of our way of life.  The Energy Saving Trust predicts British consumers will  require double the current electricity levels to power their increasing number of electric and electronic products clearly we’ve been conditioned to believe gadgets are essential to our well-being, especially a new “must have” boys’ (or girls’) toy at Christmas.

What I find most surprising is that despite having kitchen cupboards stuffed with pointless gadgets, we are still buying such items.  Those of us with childhood memories of sandwich toasters, hostess trolleys, soda streams and fondue sets (the last two admittedly not electric gadgets) – should know better.

This Christmas – let’s think of the planet and “step away from the juicer or breadmaker now…” 

Published by

Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.